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The Most Obscure Bits Of Green Lantern Mythology Explained

"In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night…"

While you might not be able to finish this famous oath, you most likely still recognize that it belongs to DC Comics' Green Lantern. The character has been around since 1940 and, barring a 10-year hiatus from 1949 to 1959, has pretty much been in constant publication ever since. 

What began as a comic book about a singular hero with a magical ring now encompasses a pantheon of thousands of ring-bearing space police and an entire rainbow armada of aliens with similar abilities. Don't feel bad if you're not fully up to speed on the Green Lantern's origin story or the history of the Green Lantern Corps (not to mention all of their many-hued enemies and allies) because it's hard for even the most dedicated comic book nerds to keep it all straight sometimes. So, power up your ring and explore some of the most obscure bits of Green Lantern mythology.

You might also like this list of the best Green Lantern comics.

  • The Green Lanterns Had A Weakness To Yellow (Which Was Actually A Fear Parasite)

    Photo: DC Comics

    Like the original Green Lantern Alan Scott and his wood vulnerability, the modern Green Lanterns had one rather strange weakness which rendered their rings useless: the color yellow. Due to a "yellow impurity" in the original Central Power Battery on Oa, the most powerful weapon in the universe could be stopped with a dandelion or a small canary.

    It was later revealed that the impurity was actually a giant sentient yellow space parasite from the dawn of time that the Guardians imprisoned in the Central Power Battery (in order to contain it from spreading fear throughout the universe). When the creature, called Parallax, escaped from the battery, the yellow weakness in all subsequently created rings disappeared.

  • Everyone's Favorite Green Lantern From The DCAU Once Killed Billions Of People

    Photo: DC Comics

    While Hal Jordan is the most popular Green Lantern in comic book circles, there's an entire generation of Green Lantern fans who grew up with John Stewart as their favorite space cop. It's mostly thanks to his starring role on the animated series Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

    Stewart's origin in the animated universe differs from his comic book origin in many ways – he was a founding member of the Justice League instead of Hal, for example – but his core personality is the same. One key difference occurs in the now-classic Cosmic Odyssey storyline. A team of superheroes and a team of New Gods joined forces to stop the mysterious and powerful Anti-Life Equation from destroying four key planets. If any two of the planets were destroyed, the universe would collapse and Anti-Life would win.

    Overconfident in his own abilities, Stewart rushed off to stop the Anti-Life Equation by himself, only to discover that it created a yellow bomb to destroy the planet Xanshi. Unable to impact the yellow object, the bomb went off, destroying the planet and killing billions of sentient beings.

    Stewart later contemplated suicide because of his failure, giving us one of the darkest moments in Green Lantern history.

  • There's An Entire Rainbow Of Lantern Rings Powered By Different Emotions

    Photo: DC Comics

    Initially, there were only Green Lantern rings, powered by the Central Power Battery on Oa and used to create energy constructs through the willpower of their users. Later, a Yellow Lantern ring popped up, powered by fear. During the events in Blackest Night, however, it was revealed that there are seven different types of Power Rings, each a different color and each powered by an entity who embodies a different emotion.

    Just as green is in the center of the ROYGBIV mnemonic color scale, so does the Green Light of Willpower serve as the balance between the three negative emotional colors (red, orange, and yellow) and the three positive emotional colors (blue, indigo, and violet).

    Red Lanterns are powered by rage, the solitary Orange Lantern by avarice, Yellow Lanterns by fear, Blue Lanterns by hope, Indigo Lanterns by compassion, and Violet Lanterns by love. 

  • The Tragic Story Of Sinestro

    Photo: DC Comics

    After being chosen by the Guardians to protect his native planet of Korugar and Sector 1417, Thaal Sinestro quickly became a shining example of how to broker peace and maintain order. He was heralded as "the greatest Green Lantern." However, Sinestro's desire for control turned him into a ruthless dictator. He ended up conquering his home planet and subjugating his entire sector.

    It was new recruit Hal Jordan, the first human Green Lantern, who discovered Sinestro's method of surreptitious control and alerted the Guardians. The Guardians exiled Sinestro from the Corps and later banished him to the Antimatter Universe. There, on the planet Qward, Sinestro first fashioned a yellow Power Ring that harnessed fear.

    After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Sinestro was imprisoned in the Central Power Battery, where he encountered the fear entity Parallax. Empowered by the Light of Fear, Sinestro created a new yellow ring and eventually an entire army – the Sinestro Corps – of yellow ring-wielding monsters with the goal of bringing order to the universe by spreading fear. Inevitably defeated, Sinestro rose up to battle the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps again and again, proving himself as their greatest enemy.